Christian Chase
Christian Chase
Christian Chase, 25, of Madison, faces two more felony charges after a nine-month-long investigation by the Indiana State Police into the abuse of a 3-year-old boy.

The case began when the boy’s father noticed injuries including bruising to the boy’s face, head and back in the spring of 2018 and took him to King’s Daughters Hospital for an examination, said Jefferson County Prosecutor David Sutter.

The Department of Child Services was notified of the investigation. The child also was taken for an examination to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

The affidavit in this case and interviews with officials who were part of the case provide a look at the complexity of investigating child abuse as the cases continue to increase in number. Key findings in the Child Maltreatment report published in 2018 through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported the number of children nationwide who received a child protective services investigation or alternative response increased 10 percent from 2013 (3,184,000) to 2017 (3,501,000).

The medical examinations of the 3-year-old concluded the injuries were the results of physical abuse and were well beyond what the explanations of accidents provided to the boy’s father would have caused, said the probable cause affidavit filed by Indiana State Police Trooper Nate Adams.

Sutter explained that throughout their investigation ISP interviewed everyone who has been a caretaker for the child, including Chase and his wife, Katie, who babysat the child and his sibling.

The 3-year-old and his sibling were interviewed by someone with the Dillsboro Child Advocacy Center in April 2018, just after the abuse was reported to ISP and DCS.

During the interview, the boy’s sibling said that they remembered when he hit his head on a box spring during spring break (March 19-30, 2019), but didn’t know what caused the injury to his forehead or what caused his eyes to swell. The sibling also told the advocate that Katie told her that the boy had “bumped heads with another boy.”

The affidavit said that the boy told the advocate: “that Mr. Chase fights with him and hits him. (He) stated that Mr. Chase hit him and that he hit him more than one time. He emphasized that Mr. Chase was not nice.”

The boy also told the advocate “that if someone hurts him, he could tell ‘Pappa,’ but he can’t tell Katie or Chris.”

“Pappa” is what the young siblings call their custodial father, who noticed the bruises on the toddler.

The affidavit details the officer’s process and interviews conducted with the Chases after physicians concluded that the injuries were not accidental.

In the affidavit, Adams noted that Katie Chase and Christian Chase made statements inconsistent with each other.

Katie Chase provided details and explanations for the 3-year-old’s injuries that did not match what Christian Chase told. In at least one incident, Katie Chase said Christian Chase wasn’t present, but he told investigators he was in the house.

The affidavit details the interview with Christian Chase:

“...When asked if he could have been too rough with (the boy), he stated he could have, but doesn’t recall. When asked if he was ever alone with (the boy), he stated that he had once, and elaborated on a time when he had a swollen lip. When asked if he remembered how (the boy) received the swollen lip, he stated that there was a chance it could have gone too far, but he doesn’t remember….he said the most he could have done was smack him on the back and side of the head. He indicated that he was under the influence of marijuana while taking care of (the boy).”

Christian Chase also told ISP that he was receiving treatment from Centerstone for anger management.

ISP served a warrant on Christian Chase on Friday, Feb. 1 at the Jefferson County Jail, where he has been an inmate since September 2018 after being arrested on charges of felony battery on a pregnant woman, felony criminal confinement and battery. The victim in this case was not his wife.

Christian Chase’s bond was set at $7,500 concurrent for the two pending cases.

“Children and elderly are the most vulnerable people in our communities,” Sutter said.

It is important for parents, guardians and other loved ones to take appropriate action if they notice injuries or other signs a loved one might need help, Sutter emphasized. He explained that when the victim is a child, it can make creating a case and gathering evidence difficult compared to when the victim is an adult. Law enforcement often relies on groups like the Dillsboro Child Advocacy Center to help interview child victims or witnesses, as they did in this case.

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: